tv [untitled] September 16, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm PDT
>> michael -- san francisco gray panthers. this whole business about this kind of shadowy introduction of tasers is very puzzling as to what's going on. but san francisco gray panthers wants to say that we're firmly against any kind of introduction of tasers. the former police chief argued that tasers would reduce officer-related shootings by as much as a third. this is a false argument. if police officers are generally in danger by an armed suspect, they're going to use a gun, even if they have tasers. aclu research shows that 80% of tasers used against unarmed individuals. police officers are
adequately trained and willing to use their training, they can handle non-compliance subjects without tasers. psych techs do it every day. tasers are not non-lethal. and -- international has counted 257 taser related deaths in the u.s. as of early 2011. when police tase someone they have no way of knowing whether or not they're particularly sensitive to this. i feel strongly about this, having had a triple bypass myself. the other thing is that we can't depend on the courts to protect us against abuse of tasers. there's a case of a seven month pregnant woman in seattle, a black woman pulled over or alleged speeding and she refused to sign the ticket thinking it was an admission of guilty
and she didn't get out of her car and was tasered three times. worse yet the court ruled that the police acted reasonably. this introduction of tasers to the police force in san francisco, given this huge background of racial profiling of the gang injunctions, of the incredible sweeps through the police -- through the buses in the mission district and in bayview, you cannot introduce tasers against that background. >> next speaker. >> good evening. my name is slena -- and i am representing the juvenile -- justice today, a nonprofit based in san francisco. we provide direct services, technical assistance and data-driven policy analysis. we've been monitoring, analyzing and reporting on san francisco's arrest trends using data
made available through the department of justice for the past decades. we issued reports in 2004, 2005, and moft recently in april of this year. documenting a 40 year history of racially drim in aatory crais practices against african-american residents. the latest report was presented to the san francisco human rights commission, but it was also distributed to this commission and to the chief of police as well. upon commission loftus has indicated interest in examining the findings more closely and i would be happy to come back another time to present on those. i'm here today to express the full support for efforts to address the limitationses of the sfpd basic arrest collection system. there is increased urgency to assure accurate data is examined. unfortunately san francisco's arrests were also severely underreported in 2010 due due to a technical
glitch in the data system which means there is no way to know how police -- impacted residents that year. i know it is lab orous task to backdate the -- but it would be extremely helpful and provide an accurate baseline for measuring public safety measures under realignment. if you could do just a year or two years prior to realignment being implemented it would be useful i think for san francisco. i would also encourage chief and this commission to examine the data sfpd collects once the system has been upgraded and to analyze it in the context of policies and practices of the police department. we recommended it in april in our report and would still support adoption of the plan to report -- of drug arrest practices specifically and again i would be happy to provide more information on those trends at a later date. thank you. >> thank you very much.
next speaker. >> good evening. so this was kind of a side note. one, i'm just wondering if there was a category for earthling, just off the top of my head. anyway, so what i've run into, here in the last year and a half, i've done a considerable amount of research, one on youtube, punched in police brutality and believe me there's over 500 videos on there. obviously we're dealing with the worst case scenarios. you know, if the -- if something dramatic didn't happen, and nobody's going to put it on youtube, if it it wasn't a problem there would be no incentive. so most of what i've
seen is just a negative. i realize that there's a great deal of police activity that doesn't go into the brutality where it's unwarranted. now with that said, i see young people being tasered, i see a tremendous amount of smashing people's heads into concrete, you know, this face-down, take down. around the tasers aren't being used instead of a gun. they're being used because people won't comply, they won't put their face in the gutter. it's bizarre when it goes bad. like this gentleman just mentioned, there wasn't a violation of policy because it said -- they give the command three times, and all of a sudden the person isn't in compliance and that's how the rule was written, to administer the taser. it's really a torture device, you know, it's in that context.
you know, if the -- if the person -- you know, if there's a safety issue, you know, where the officer's going to tase somebody, and protect themselves, but i'm seeing where it's not combative situations, where you know, the officer gets angry because he doesn't you know, instant compliance. this is america, some people think they're freer than they are. they think they can do had a they want and they'll get electrocuted for it. there was a 14-year-old girl on youtube that it pierced her skull. these are dangerous weapons. and they harm a lot of people. man, you know, and after delving into the local homeless population and what's going on here, i see this -- like a
routine systematic harming of women where -- i don't even know how to describe some of what i've seen but it's been disturbing, and you know folks need to wake up. >> thank you. next speaker. >> good evening, commissions. my name is nick passcello. i've inquired about the agenda for this meeting a number of times and was told the chief would be presenting a report on tasers or as you're calling them less lethal weapons. i haven't heard such a report, if there is such a report, i believe it would be covered by sunshine, and i would like a copy of it. i believe tasers are an instrument of torture, and engender fear and not respect for law enforcement. i've seen presentations here, i think it may
have been two years ago, i don't think anything has changed in the technology or in the reports on the use of tasers. that indicate that the use of them, in extremely rare circumstances, might help law enforcement. but the risk is so high, of people being killed by these instruments of torture, this would be a terrible mistake for the department to implement this equipment. i would like to see whatever report exists on the subject. i am still very confused about where this commission is going with this matter. and i wish you would clarify that for the public, for the citizens, and not implement tasers. >> thank you. commissioner turman. >> commissioner turman: let me clarify
this so that everyone understands. this meeting has never been advertised as, never agendized as the chief or anyone else presenting a report. there is no report to present. this is about the implementation of a revolution by the police commission, about the process of studying tasers that we are trying to put into effect. no one is trying to exclude the public. there is no shadowy process going on here. we are not moving forward with tasers or anything else without public input. we have received research and information, most of which have been previously presented at this commission meeting. and to the extent anyone feels like information
is being kept from them, believe me, i am not in that business, and i don't sit up here for that purpose. we're here to engage -- we're here to set a process by which this commission voted on, prior to me even being on this commission, to study this issue. and because of that resolution exists, and because that resolution calls for interaction and engagement and meeting with the public, it is my mandate to make sure that happens. the chief is going to comply with that. the commissioner are going to comply with that. and we welcome your comments and your information about that. we have never, up here, said report. i've only heard report out there. there is no report, as of yet. >> thank you, commissioner for clarifying that. next speaker. >> i would add also thank you for clarifying that. thank you. >> i just want to add just to make sure we're
clear that there -- while there isn't an official report, the department has done research which is what i was thanking the chief for, they have done research on less lethal openings and other taser policies so there is research done by the department in the last 30 days since we had our last big debate on tasers and this is research commissioners are reviewing and we will be discussing this with the public so there is research out there. >> thank you. next speaker. >> good evening. my name is -- bowler. i've lived in san francisco for, i don't know, since 1958. i came because i feel very strongly about the use of tasers. my experience with them is as a member of the public, learning now, and then, and then, and then, about people who have died as a result of
being tasered. i want to say that the name of this item, studying less lethal weapons, is a misnomer. they are more lethal because the assumption is made that they are not lethal. i don't see there's any way around that. and one of the examples that i remember -- i don't remember everybody else probably does remember the names of the people, of the man who was tasered by mistake, new year's eve. the officer thought he was reaching for a gun -- for the taser, and got the gun. his assumption was that the taser would not kill the victim.
i strongly object to putting into play, in the hands of our officers, a deceptive tool that results in unintended murder. and that's what it is. and i would like to suggest that the subject be dropped immediately. no further research is needed. thank you for your attention. >> thank you for coming this evening. next speaker. >> good evening, commissioner. -- from aclu of northern california. i won't be up here as long as last time. i just wanted to thank
the commission and the chief for their attention to the taser issue and i'm glad to see the studies have been ongoing. we echo the concerns we had last time and that we presented in the letter and hope those are continually brought up in discussions that continue around tasers and the research. i'd also with issue to the race reporting unfortunately i didn't get here in time to see the entire presentation so i look forward to getting a copy of that powerpoint. but i appreciate the attention to that issue and echo the center for juvenile criminal justice's concerns, especially with respect to past data reporting. if there is any way that we can figure out how to go back a few years, you know, or as long as we can and get some of that back data, that would be entirely helpful to those of us that do policy advocacy work and who rely on those numbers. i also wanted to echo what cjcj said in this realignment data collection is so important throughout the state and especially
from local law enforcement. there are certain things i've heard i think from the commission or the press that are misunderstandings about the way realignment has been working and perhaps the rise in crime, who's committing courtrooms, and who is being released from prison. what we need is really strong numbers so we all have a good sense of what's going on here, and that people in the press are not relying on sort of generalizations about data. so that applies to data on race, as well as many different forms of data. we want to have the best technology possible and the best data reporting system as possible. i think a lot of us, we're shocked to find out about this issue, given that we are in san francisco, sort of the heart of the center of technology in the nation. so to know that smaller counties in rural california have been reporting proper data and statistics on hispanics while we're not because we don't have the equipment was quite shocking. i'm glad we're paying attention to that issue aened going to get those
systems unified. and i look forward to seeing how that plays out. thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker. >> good evening. my name is nan, and i'm -- wasn't going to really speak tonight, but the second lady that really, really wants you to now deal with prostitution in drug deals, i thought you might want a countervoice perhaps. these are sometimes called victimless crimes. certainly a city as san francisco is not going to be a city if there is prostitution i would recommend you guys work at legalizing this whole system and stop playing games. there's a awful lot of game-playing going around but legalizing drugs and stopping the war on drugs would
really loosen up a lot of police time to deal with way more important stuff. and i don't think we should just hand out drugs to everybody, but -- well this is for another time in case this subject ever gets off the ground, there are people sincerely working on stopping the war. okay. back to tasers. you heard about the deaths. i more concerned about all the injuries. and there's tons and tons of injuries. and since we haven't managed to get a single payer medical system going who is going to deal with all the lawsuits that are going to come from all the people that say i'm not able to support myself because you shot me with this. and this -- i've heard claim that there's a lot of lawsuits in other cities where -- that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on taser systems, and then they had to lock them in the closet because somebody has a lawsuit going. these are all things
that need to be considered. the best way to spend money might be on training everybody, the cit would be a really good start to actually have the training in place for a couple of years to see how that affects everything before you consider finding the magical non-lethal weapon, perhaps martial arts training would be totally appropriate. >> thank you. next speaker. >> hello, commissioners, and chief, and director. thank you. my name's colleen and i am -- work with homeless youth alliance. i just wanted to say that i really appreciate what was said about the willingness for the subcommittee that's going to be doing the research around less eatingal options to work
with the community. i hope that when you've heard today from the community related to thinking that we were maybe going to be hearing some of the results of the research or analysis, some of the research that was going on, and the disappointment about not hearing that, really as a message that we really want to have a dialogue with you, and we're excited to have that dialogue, and we feel like it's vital and necessary. it's really hard to have a dialogue in three minute, two minute public comment time. so i'm glad that that research exists, and has started. and looking forward to the time when you can -- when we can collaborate with you on that. homeless youth alliance will have a lot to say about less lethal options, and less lethal ways -- less harmful ways that our police department can interact with homeless youth on the streets.
and i know that a lot of the people that i work with in the community have information that they want to share about those things in the way that that could affect their constituents. so i just want to say that we're looking forward to continuing this communication with you, and looking at the research, and we want to be part of the discussion. so thank you for that. good night. >> thank you very much. next speaker. public comment is now closed. next line item. there you are. come forward. >> well, i definitely think that the community wants you to stop this process of coming up with some notion that you should have the police officers have tasers. so a police officer, he has access to like a gun, a shot gunn, a baton, pepper spray, and his physical training. and now you want to give him another weapon.
and these -- you know, it's potentially fatal. my -- cases that i've seen with this is that the taser can be used if more as a torture device to continually shock people. i would like you to see more mental health training, like deescalation training, and also if you want to do physical training, you've got like the -- mar system where you can be trained to disarm someone who's actually holding a gun so you don't have to shoot them. some of the cases, it just gets outrageous because people are unarmed and they're getting shot by police officers. and i'm not in support of the officers or anybody else having more weapons. i would like to believe that, as people who are supposed to be representing the systems -- the citizens that you would want less weapons on the street,
not more. >> thank you very much. public comment is now closed. please call the next line item. >item. thank you. >> hi, commissioners. really appreciate your hearing this today, and clarifying what happened to what i understood was going to be the chief's report on this. there's some misinformation out there about that. so i want to clarify something. cit does not mean crisis interception training. it means crisis intervention teams. in memphis, tennessee, they have an elite squad
of police trained in deescalation techniques. and it's a matter of pride that the police are allowed on this squad. and they're allowed on the squad because of their record in talking down people in mental health crisis, without killing or hurting them. this is an incentive to not use force, not use weapons. so i think it's very important to stress the t in cit means team, the team effort, to stop people from being damaged. and i think this is an extremely important -- i said last time that i talked, that i would like to see deescalation
skills evidenced on the part of police officers, long before there's a use of any kind of weapon, lethal or non-lethal. so, again, thank you for having this hearing. it's a very important. thank you for letting me speak. >> thank you for coming. public comment is now closed on this item. dr. marshall. >> vice president marshall: i want to make a comment -- >> [inaudible] >> dr. marshall. >> vice president marshall: i don't know how it came about that it was misconstrued what was going to happen tonight but we will be clear exact -- i'm sorry, we will make every effort to be clear about what exactly is agendized next time we have a report by the commission. because it was not -- it was misrepresented for some reason. we'll make every effort to be clear on what this process really happens the next time we have.
because i understand the next time we have 60 days, we're going to have another one then. we will be very clear as to what happens -- what is going to happen that evening because apparently some of you were confused about you we'll do our best to make sure it's clear. >> excuse me, sir. you may not speak unless you're up to the podium and at the appropriate time. we're not allowed to engage the community unless they're in fact even during public comment we're not allowed to do it, unless of special circumstanced. >> general public comment, which it is not. >> we're not going to engage the public when they shout out and when not the appropriate time. call the next line item which is no, 2 which is general public comment. this is general public comment to items that have not already been discussed or not on the agenda tonight. >> general public comment, the public is now welcome to address the commission regarding items that do not appear on tonight's agenda. but that are within the
subject matter jurisdiction of the commission. upon speakers shall address their remarks to the commission as a whole and not to individual commissioners or department or occ personnel. under police commission rules of order during public comment, neither police or occ personnel nor commissioners are required to respond to questions presented by the public, but may provide a brief response. individual commissioners and police and occ personnel should refrain from entering into any debates or discussion with speakers during public comment. please limit your comments to three minutes. >> thank you. mr. hartz. >> ray hafortsz, director of san francisco open government. i'd like to point out a number of things that happened. the last item was being broadcast on the sfgtv as general public comment, which it was not. there were also periods of time when the broadcast was cut off, and therefore speakers who wished to speak to the commission were not put on sfgtv and i think both of those are wrong.
if there is one thing citizens of san francisco would probably believe, it would be that members of the san francisco police department would respect the law. i know from my own experience that belief is often not true. the legal division of the sfpd understands both the california public records act and the sunshine ordinance, but seems to have no belief that those laws apply to the department. members of the division have been uncooperative, evasive, and dishonest in the handling of public records requests. in acomplaint against the chief before the sunshine ordinance task force has yet to be heard, i believe that a representative will appear, who will be equally uncooperative, evasive, and perhaps dishonest in responding to the complaint. honest and/or open communication from the sfpd including members of the command staff is something i have learned not to expect. i would think the police chief and the police
commission would find this unacceptable. i will probably be proven wrong. every agenda you put out says know your rights under the sunshine ordinance and yet when an individual knows their rights and insists upon those rights they not only don't have them respected but they have to drag you to the sunshine ordinance task force at which time someone who did not engage in the behavior shows up, to try to explain it away. the people who actually do things don't show up because they know they were in the wrong and they don't want to be on the public record having to admit that they were wrong. so they simply just don't show up. your police department, legal division, knows the california public records acts. i'm not going to be in a position saying they don't. they also understand the sunshine ordinance. they just have no belief that it applies to them. in this particular case